Book Description

From Publishers Weekly For over two decades, Greenberger has interviewed retirement home residents, attempting to depict as many characters as possible in this often-overlooked demographic. He posed offbeat questions (e.g., 'What do you think George Washington's voice sounded like?'), sometimes letting his subjects ramble. He recorded the results and published them in his zine, Duplex Planet, and this collection of interviews features illustrations by comic artists. Though Greenberger is still interviewing subjects, this volume presents six of the men he originally befriended. Each section begins with a photographic portrait of the interviewee, followed by a handful of his memorable quotes. (Arthur Wallace, 1893-1980: 'Hey! Hey! Don't be worryin' about goddamn international politics! Go down and tell Mary I want some whiskey!') He then shares segments of his conversations or stories in comic form, each by a different illustrator. Some artists portray interviewees in youth, as in 'Baseball Damage,' drawn by Tim Hensley. In 'What's Gravity?' (drawn by J.R. Williams), an elderly man simply smokes, his facial expressions changing subtly from panel to panel. Others, like 'Hiding in the Trees,' drawn by Paul Nitsche, are more fantastical. Though styles vary, the art is consistently expressive and successfully illuminates the stories' poetry, whimsy, humor and melancholy. It sometimes even buttresses disjointed speech: aged minds tend to work in hard-to-follow ruts, tangents and circles-part of the book's charm. Greenberger offered these men a patient ear at a time in their lives when most people get ignored. The work's longevity will remind readers they yearn for the company of these precious individuals, and that's reason enough not to forget them. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more Review On first reading, this stuff seems merely hilarious. Then it grows on you and becomes strangely moving. -- Matt GroeningOne of life's little wonders. We're lucky to have it. -- Lou Reed[Greenberger] and his artists present these people as they are, in all their confused, endearing glory. -- Bust, Tom Forget[M]odern-day versions of Chaucer's reports from the road to Canterbury; they resonate with a wry humor and a startling insight. -- The New York Times Read more See all Editorial Reviews